Archive | October 18, 2013

A week of Settings – Day Five: Bug Invasion

It was an ordinary day when the bugs invaded.

The bugs had swooped in, hitting the early-warning system and landing within hours of that. There was time to sound alarms, but not time to evacuate billions of people to safe places – if, indeed, there would have been safe places for all.

They weren’t truly bugs, of course; they were an alien species with alien biology. But they had segmented bodies and compound ideas, and the term stuck.

Worse than their attack, worse than their alien behavior, was how they succeeded in their attack: they invaded the bodies and minds of humans (not all humans, but a select few) in a symbiotic merger that left them better able to work with and understand the human psyche.

They won the first thrust of the battle.

However, they were not counting on the complexity and strength of the human resistance.

Bug Invasion starts with the invasion. From there it follows the symbiotes and their struggle to deal with the human condition.

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I miss my icons -need pd DW account

So I will write you words for DW bucks at 10 words/point, up to 700 590 points.

Former title – “and DW doesn’t take paypal (boo DW why not?)” explained below by Recessional

Edit: Thank you, anonymous donor! Pls. claim your 600 words!

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Two Years Ago – Badges

Two years ago, I wrote Questions for the “Spooks, Creeps, Ghosts, and Ghouls” Giraffe Call. This follows that.

I admit, Juniper joining a Girl Scout troop was not my favorite idea when she broached it.

The troop, like her school, was mixed, which both a point for and against it. Juniper needed more experience dealing with “normal human kids,” on the other hand, dealing with normal human kids sometimes meant she came home crying, because they didn’t live in the same world she did.

Sage and I conferred. Then we debated. Then we bargained. Then Juniper went to Girl Scouts.

First, there was that incident with the Rakshasa. The Girl Scout leadership, you see, is entirely human. They’re entirely human and very, very mundane, and they didn’t know what a Rakshasa was.

I had a talk with them – and a much longer talk with the Rakshasa – and the troop got a second leader. I thought everything was settled. Juniper was having fun. She was even making friends, friends with human girls. She even had her first sleepover – which meant I had a nice long conversation with three human mothers and, in the end, one of of them slept over, too. We braided each other’s hair and watched bad movies; it was like being back at the Pumpkin again.

Things were going well, and the Rakshasa hadn’t eaten anyone (my brownies, she said, helped quite a bit). Then Junie came home with her new friends, crayons, and blank badges. After they’d been working for three or four hours, I thought to ask what they were up to.

Junie looked up at me with her best I’m-innocent-really-Mom expression. “We’re making new badges.” Her friend Mirella was drawing something very very tiny with pen in the middle of her badge.

“New badges?”

Courtney held up her paper, on which, in very careful handwriting, was listed a full description of what had to be the badge Mirella was drawing. “They don’t have enough badges. So we’re making more. This is the pixie furnishings badge.”

Well, at least she was spending time with more girls her age…

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Learning the Aether, a setting Fic

See also Learning the Sira

This story takes place approx 750 years after the time of Rin & Girey, in the era of the Edalley Academy stories (forthcoming), also known as Steam!Goats era.

I am not wed to the terms for the different sorts of aether – feedback?

“There is more that we do not know about the aether than we know.”

Instructor Posvorrem was a tall, lean man, with ice-and-slate braids down to the back of his knees and the tidiest beard his students had ever seen.

“If we were to put all of the knowledge of the aether that scientists currently hold in a goblet.” The instructor picked up the goblet he used for such demonstrations. “Then everything that we still did not know would fill this tower.

“Still.” He had a habit of pacing up and down the rows of tables. It made his students even more nervous than they already were. “We will attempt to cram into your heads all that the goblet holds, and hope there is room enough.”

A nervous titter filled the room. Posvorrem smiled without humor. “Aether is a function of the way parts of the world rub against other parts. For instance, when you have a geological fault line, you will have deposits of the aether that associates itself with stone and earth, mineraloid aether. When you have a deep current in the ocean, the hydrologic aether likewise deposits-“

“How does it deposit in the ocean?”

Instructor Posvorrem coughed. His gaze fixed on the offending student until they blushed and looked away.

“It leaves small pockets of a semi-solid mass which are carried along, sometimes settling at the bottom of the ocean floor and sometimes being pushed to the surface. A wind current will do something similar, and the push and pull of plants in a forest will create small nodules of biologic aether…”

“What about people?” This was, at least, a different student. Posvorrem didn’t even bother looking at that one.

“There is no such thing as humanic aether. I’d suggest you put it out of your mind.”

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Rohanna, her Second Year

Twelfth in a series of character-building vignettes following a bunch of characters through their time at Addergoole & beyond.

“And what will you do?”

Professor Fridmar was staring at her. Rohanna knew this was supposed to be unnerving, but she couldn’t bring herself to feel anything but a little amused.

“What, you mean ‘now that I’m free?'” She shrugged, and tried not to laugh at the professor. At her Mentor, even if she’d had to growl and grumble to get him to agree. He hadn’t liked her reasons. Neither had Dyfri. That was the point. “It’s not like Dyfri yanked the chain that much.”

“But the chain was there, nonetheless, and now it is gone. Dah, what will you do now that you are free?”

“Same thing I did while I was under the collar.” She didn’t understand what the big deal was. It was a collar. It was a few rules. And then it was gone. She’d been through that before a time or three.

“You are going to wander around seeing how many people you can annoy and how much effort it takes to do so?”

Rohanna felt a grin coming to her face. “Yes, that was part of the idea. Probably continue to sleep with cy’Linden, because that confuses everyone.”

“And your animals?”

Rohanna felt her expression soften. “You’ll let me keep helping, right?”

“And if I say, only if you stop sleeping with all of cy’Linden?”

“Then I say, you are giving me a rule and not a frown, and then I stop sleeping with some of cy’Linden.”

“And if I say, only if you come to my bed?”

She tilted her head. That was a new one. “I say, ‘well, Professor, I didn’t know you cared.'”

“And you do it?”

“With your promise.”

“Animals are a very important thing to you.” He said it like a fact, which it nearly was. Rohanna corrected him.

“The animals are the only thing.”

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The Cup Part VI

After The Cup and The Cup, Part II, and The Cup Part III, and The Cup, Part IV, and, The Cup, Part V, in that Order

They drove on. There were other holes in the road, of course, but none were as bad as the one that had nearly swallowed the van.

They wore themselves out, Cya and Pellinore, muttering Words under their breath to make the dirt, to shape the road, to give themselves the paved surface where no road crew had been in generations.

And then, when they were both panting from the effort, Pellinore’s son wiggled up into the front, perching on the console between them. “I can…?”

He made it a question, which made Pellinore want to punch something. This was his son. His son, not some woman’s…

“Hey.” The boy thumped him in the arm with a fist. “You’re getting that face.”

Pellinore coughed. “What face?” The boy was a stranger, he couldn’t know…

“The Luke face. I mean, Luke gets it a lot; he doesn’t like the idea of collars at all, I think. Ambrus got it once or twice, but if your name is really Pellinore, I always figured that explained it.”

“That…” Pellinore was lost.

“Anyway, relax. I like being under her collar. It’s a lot better than anything I’ve had before. And anyway, I can take over for the Workings for a bit and let you two guys rest.”

“I think we’d better stop the van.” Cya was already matching actions to words and putting the brakes on. “Because…”

She didn’t need to finish that sentence. Because the road ends would have been close, but the road didn’t so much end as turn straight upwards in a gravity-defying right angle.

And in front of the right-turn there was a sign.

“Well.” Pellinore coughed. “I bet this is our first stop.”

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